Cricket: Azharuddin helps India to prosper

India 518-7 dec Sri Lanka 121-2
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The Independent Online
MAHELA JAYAWARDENE hit a half century as Sri Lanka reached 121 for 2 in reply to India's imposing 518 for 7 declared on the second day of their Asian Test championship match here yesterday.

Jayawardene's 59 not out was made from 74 balls with the aid of nine fours and a six off the spinner Harbajan Singh. He was given a life at 25 when Vangipurappu Laxman at short-leg spilled a bat-pad catch off the leg-spinner Anil Kumble.

India's Test debutant, Ashish Nehra, captured his maiden wicket when he trapped Marvan Atapattu for six. Sri Lanka's other opener, the left- hander Russel Arnold, made 34 in two hours and added 75 for the second wicket with Jayawardene before smart fielding by Rahul Dravid at short- leg ran him out.

India's captain, Mohammad Azharuddin, and Saurav Ganguly both made half centuries to boost India's first innings total by 94 between lunch and tea.

Azharuddin fell to a brilliant diving catch by Chandika Hathurusinghe at long-on for 87, to give the part-time spinner Arnold his first Test wicket. He batted for 218 minutes and hit 12 fours.

Ganguly was also out to another splendid effort in the field when he was caught for 56 at extra cover by a substitute fielder, Ruwan Kalpage, diving to his left.

Sri Lanka also captured the wicket of Nayan Mongia for 25 in the final over before tea. He was caught by Aravinda de Silva at mid-off off Arnold.

India, resuming on 351 for 3, lost Sachin Tendulkar to the first ball of the day. He edged an outswinger from Chaminda Vaas while playing forward and was caught behind by Romesh Kaluwitharana. But India continued to prosper, thanks to Ganguly and Azharuddin.

Second day; Sri Lanka won toss

INDIA - First Innings

(Overnight: 351 for 3)

S R Tendulkar c Kaluwitharana b Vaas 53

*M Azharuddin c Hathurusinghe b Arnold 87

S C Ganguly c Sub b Upashantha 56

N R Mongia c de Silva b Arnold 25

A Kumble not out 10

Extras (b5, lb6, w3, nb12) 26

Total (for 7 dec, 142.5 overs) 518

Did not bat: Harbhajan Singh, Venkatesh Prasad, A Nehra.

Fall (cont): 4-351, 5-463, 6-491, 7-518.

Bowling: Vaas 31-5-108-1; Perera 30-4-125-1; Upashantha 28-3-94-1; Hathurusinghe 18-3-51-1; Arnold 24.5-2-94-2; Jayawardene 11-3-35-1.

SRI LANKA - First Innings

M S Atapattu lbw b Nehra 6

R P Arnold run out 34

D P M Jayawardene not out 59

U C Hathurusingha not out 11

Extras (lb5, w4, nb2) 11

Total (for 2, 37 overs) 121

Fall: 1-18, 2-93.

To bat: P A de Silva, *A Ranatunga, H P Tillakaratne, R S Kaluwitharana, W P U J C Vaas, R L Perera, K E A Upashantha.

Bowling (to date): Venkatesh Prasad 7-2-31-0; Nehra 7-1-24-1; Kumble 12-2-28-0; Harbhajan Singh 9-3-27-0; Tendulkar 2-0-6-0.

Umpires: R E Koertzen (SA) and R B Tiffin (Zim).